Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Would you book a one-way ticket to Mars?

As the practical and financial problems associated with NASA's proposed manned Mars mission become ever clearer, one scientist has made an interesting suggestion: Remove the return trip. According to Lawrence M. Krauss of Arizona State University, plenty of astronauts would be willing to live out their remaining years doing work on the red planet.

I concur - I don't think there would be any problem finding volunteers. If it wasn't for the fact that I have a family on Earth who is less enthusiastic about the idea than I am, I'd be a starter myself. What a way to go down in history!

Krauss points out some historical precedents, saying "Colonists and pilgrims seldom set off for the New World with the expectation of a return trip, usually because the places they were leaving were pretty intolerable anyway. Give us a century or two and we may turn the whole planet into a place from which many people might be happy to depart."

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